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Hi-Tech Lab
March 31, 2015   
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Researchers in many different fields of science and technology will soon be able to use a new interdisciplinary laboratory that is under construction in Warsaw.

Called the Center for Advanced Materials and Technology (CEZAMAT), the lab will study and develop technology that will be used in electronic equipment, telephones, computers, processors, new kinds of sensors, detectors, imaging techniques, spectroscopy and holography. The laboratory will also focus on photonics, optoelectronics, solar cells, new semi-conducting, and composite materials and nanotubes. Facilities available at CEZAMAT will enable scientists to study perovskites, materials with a crystalline structure that can be used in photovoltaics. Researchers will also be able to find new applications for graphene and study 3D integration and heterogeneous system architecture. The lab will also enable research into energy production and storage.

Researchers at CEZAMAT will design and develop new wireless communications and IT systems for data processing and analysis, in addition to analogue and digital technology. One other field of computer science researched at CEZAMAT will be the so-called Internet of Things, or wireless sensor networks enabling different objects to communicate with one another.

The new laboratory will enable researchers from different fields to work together, according to Mariusz Wielec, CEZAMAT project manager and CEO of the CEZAMAT company established by the Warsaw University of Technology. “Researchers will join forces to seek uses for their innovations,” says Wielec. “This will help bridge the gap between basic research in different fields and the stage of putting research results into commercial practice.”

The lab is intended to serve as a platform to integrate researchers from various countries as they work on new technology, according to Wielec.

The project is being overseen by a consortium formed by the University of Warsaw, the Military University of Technology, the Institute of Electronic Materials Technology, the Institute of Electron Technology, and three institutes of the Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN): the Institute of Physics, the Institute of Physical Chemistry, and the Institute of Fundamental Technological Research.

CEZAMAT facilities will be open to both researchers and the business community, Wielec says. The center will host meetings and conferences, and it will also help businesses establish ties with researchers and vice versa. Communication between the business and research communities will also be promoted by the Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer Management, a complementary facility to CEZAMAT that is under construction at the main campus of the Warsaw University of Technology.

CEZAMAT will foster joint research projects aimed at obtaining specific results. The consortium expects that the first research results ready for deployment in business will be available by the end of 2016.

According to project coordinator Joanna Kurowska, CEZAMAT is primarily intended to make life easier for both researchers and the general public. “Take healthcare, for example, where we will work on more effective and accurate diagnostics methods,” says Kurowska. “In the area of environmental protection, we want to design pollution sensors capable of transmitting data. Research conducted in the lab will also focus on more effective and safer transportation methods. In terms of food, we will work on methods to test the purity of ingredients in order to check if they can be used in food production and processing. We will work to develop special sensors for security and defense systems—to protect national borders, for example. This involves a wireless network of temperature sensors to monitor temperature variations on borders and thus detect the movement of people and animals.”

Prof. Romuald Beck, CEZAMAT’s deputy CEO for research, says the new laboratory is a long-time dream come true for the Polish research community. “We will at long last be able to compete on equal terms with similar facilities abroad,” says Beck. “So far, there has been a wide gap between research findings and what actually happens in the economy. If we really want to catch up with the rest of the world, we need to not only establish facilities for scientific research, but also put research results on the market.”

CEZAMAT is one of the largest projects to be co-financed by the National Center for Research and Development (NCBR) under the European Union’s Innovative Economy Operational Program. The project has been co-financed to the tune of over zl.355 million in total. The funds are intended to help finance the construction of the laboratory and purchase research equipment. The CEZAMAT project began in 2008 and is scheduled for completion later this year.
Karolina Olszewska
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